Making = Taking

Terence Hawkes

  • The Culture of the Copy: Striking Likenesses, Unreasonable Facsimiles by Hillel Schwartz
    Zone, 565 pp, £22.50, January 1997, ISBN 0 942299 35 3

By 1945, a quarter of the aeroplanes visible on Japanese military airfields were dummies. Despite a Goon Show suggestion to the contrary, the Allied air forces did not respond by dropping dummy bombs on them, although the energy of Hillel Schwartz’s argument almost persuades you that they might have done. We belong, his thesis runs, to a ‘culture of the copy’ in which an overt admiration for originality, authenticity, the unique, the one-off finds itself systematically undermined by a covert commitment to reproduction, duplication, the simulated and the subsequent.

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